traveling without kids

The kidless vacation at times is can be a fickle thing! Relaxing and then guilt-ridden, desperately needed, and then self-indulgent, carefree and anxiety-inducing. Leaving our kids in capable hands so we can take those much needed breaks brings with it a roller coaster of emotion. Jenna headed off to a tropical island with her husband recently and wanted to channel some of those feelings into something that would help calm her nerves and express her feelings, while creating something her boys could look forward to each day while she was gone. Here’s what she did:

Every day Jenna and Andrew were gone, there was an envelope waiting for their boys. Most were filled with tiny gifts that cost one dollar or less and then there was a couple exciting bigger gifts too. Knowing their son Quinn was practicing writing his name in preschool, so he got a tiny notebook to fill up. A handful of change (which to a three year old is pretty darn cool,) and favorite treats brought so much joy while they were away.  A stack of bandaids so their boys would know they were thinking of them and wished they could be there to kiss any boo boos better. And finally, an iTunes gift card so they could get a brand new movie to watch which not only excites the kids, but also gives the babysitter some valuable leverage! Most importantly it gave Jenna some peace of mind knowing her kids could have a little piece of mom and dad whenever they needed it.

ipad mini giveaway! [closed]

Congrats to Kayleigh Harkins for winning this iPad!
In this month of thanks we want to express ours to you by giving away our favorite gift in the perfect Small Fry size, the all-new iPad Mini!
iPad Mini Giveaway
To enter, we want to know what you are most thankful for! Simply print off this Thankful page, fill it out with words or pictures on your own or with loved ones big and small.
To Enter:
1. Take a picture of what your most thankful for, or a picture that includes your Thankful page and post it on your Facebook wall, Twitter or Instagram feed mentioning @SmallFryBlog and #smallfryminiipad for both.  
For extra entries:
2. Like Small Fry on Facebook
3. Click “share” on our iPad Mini image on Facebook. 
4. Follow Small Fry on Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest (separate entries for each.)
5. Blog about your Thankful page and link to this giveaway.
6. For the big mama option, putting our Small Fry button on your blog or website using the below HTML code below will give you the ability to enter five more times. We know that if you love Small Fry, your friends and readers will too and we so appreciate the support!

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Giveaway Details and Button How To: Read more

Small Fry Films: Watercolor Cut Outs

Fostering creativity in our kids isn’t so much an action as it is a reaction. You can’t force them to do creative things, but you can concoct opportunities for their creativity to emerge. And even then, the result is rarely what you think it would or should be. It’s better, because it’s all them.

Huge thank you to the genius Jenner Brown of Lumineux Films for this gorgeous video, enjoy!

To see more Lumineux films, click here and to keep up with his amazing portfolio read his blog here.

bijou market giveaway [closed]

Congrats to Robinett who won this giveaway!

It’s been awhile since our last “Products We Love” post, and we’ve got a great one to make up for its absence! We’re sure you all have your favorite Etsy shops for just about anything your heart desires, and we do too! Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk aisles lined with all those Etsy shops? Bijou Market is that dream realized. Fifty vendors come together twice a year to sell their goods and Bijou’s Holiday market is this weekend!  If you’re nearby, it really is a must-see, and we’ll even be there working the check-out! With live portraits, custom hand lettering on the spot, and even fresh flowers a la Pike’s Place, you can’t beat the ambiance and loveliness Bijou brings to Holiday shopping. If you’re not near Provo, Utah, don’t fret! You can still win some of our favorite things for kids at Bijou Market valued at $130.

Wooden Giraffe / Joey Town / Squack Doodle / Green Stitches / Mutze / Scribble on Everything

What’s up for grabs? A handmade wooden puzzle, a whole town for driving cars and trucks through, a sweet paper elephant mobile for over a crib, an amazing hand stitched doll, the softest knit hat that will ever touch your baby’s head, and a awesome set of camera decals for any wall in the house.

How to enter:

1. Comment sharing your favorite Etsy shop, we’re always on the hunt for new finds!

2. Like Bijou Market on Facebook.

3. RSVP to their official market invite.

4. Instagram their invite (below) and tag @bijoumarket.


This giveaway closes Tuesday November 20th at 11:59 pm MST and the winner will be randomly selected and notified by email.

meet a small fry: zuri

For our second installment of Meet a Small Fry we had a little chat with Zuri. She’s an old soul and incredibly mature for her age, but still so zesty and full of life. She’s such a great example of positive parenting, and, as you’ll see, has great self-esteem!

What is your name?Zuri

How old are you? 4

Who is your mom? Weslie

What does your mom do? All fun stuff with me all the time.

Who is your dad? Bronson

What does your dad do? Work allllllll the time! Hims does People Water and goes places where kids dont have a lot of stuff… And thems water is yucky.

What is your favorite color? Pink!

What do you want to be when you grow up? A mama and a doctor.

What is your favorite food? Waffles

What food do you not like? I used to love hotdogs, but now I don’t.

What is your favorite animal? Zuri the elephant at the zoo

Where do you want to live when you grow up? 

Ummmmm, I don’t care…California? Where’s there’s sand?

Who do you want to marry?

Ugghhh, (turns to Weslie) Mom! (Hardly audible…) Justin Beiber.

What does dad say? Nothings, sometimes he even says bad words!

What does mom say? To be kind, be nice, I’m cute.

What do mom and dad do after you go to bed? Go sleep in their beds.

What is your favorite song? Justin Beiber.

Where is your favorite place to eat?

Chick-fil-a! Only the ones with the kids place inside though..

Who is your favorite person? My mom

Who is your best friend? Bubba (her 9 year old aunt)

What is your favorite book? That one we lost! Ew I’m so mad. It’s called “Elliot’s Listening Ears.”

Who is your sister? Remi
Where did Remi come from? Mama’s belly.

What is your favorite thing to do? Play outside.
What would you buy with a million dollars? Food and treats.

Why is the sky blue? I dont know? Cause in pictures it is too?

How would the world be different if animals could talk? What!?!? Weird. Well, it would be freezing.

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do? Sneak into Disney land and go on everything.

What are 5 words that describe you? I remember everything! I’m nice, I’m so funny, I’m smart, and I write my name.

What was a time that you felt lucky? Ummmm. When I met my friend Maddison at the pool.

If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be?
My mom should have to go in timeout!

If you could give a gift to every child in the world, what would it be? My old necklace that I don’t play with anymore.

What is your favorite place in the world? My house… and the condo in Hawaii!

To read more about Zuri and her family, head to their blog Love Chugs.

head to toe: zara

Zara is a Spanish company that has brick and mortar stores throughout the world and several places in the U.S., but it wasn’t until last year that they opened up their online shop to the masses in America. We are so glad they did! We love their clothing for ourselves and their kids line is so great. You can find lots of pieces at an incredibly reasonable price point (think $12 for t-shirts) and there are more expensive higher quality items too. Our favorite part about Zara is their super speedy free shipping; 2-4 days with hassle free returns? Doesn’t get easier than that!

Maddie for under $120:

Quinn for under $100:

Zara tips: Their boys pants and girl’s boots run large, so keep that in mind when ordering. Any other Zara sizing tips for us? Feel free to leave them in the comments!

grateful tree

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday and a great preparation for the rest of the Holiday season. We are really focusing this season on being more grateful and in turn teaching our children to do the same. We can all get carried away with all the things we want to acquire and accomplish each Holiday season, but this simple project is helping us keep it all in check.

Each day we ask our families what we’re all grateful for and put them up on our grateful tree. The boys responses are pretty predictable, but nonetheless the expression of gratitude is an important habit to form for any age!

Here’s how you can make your own grateful tree:

Gratitude Tree

We copied off our gratitude leaves printable (download below) onto white cardstock. Cut each each leaf out, being as precise or unprecise as you wish (we chose the latter.) Keep a stack of leaves nearby and let the bigger kids fill their own leaves out, and ask the tinier ones what they’d like to write! By the end of this month you’ll have a tree full of wonderful blessings and hopefully full hearts all around!

Special thank you to West Elm for the gorgeous Hive vase!

Also thank you to all who entered the Target gift card giveaway, congratulations to our randomly selected winner, Lauren B!

my mum’s threads no. 2 [giveaway closed]

Congrats to Jamie Worall, Danielle, and Madison the 3 winners of this giveaway!

For our second installment of My Mum’s Threads we have brought together some of our favorite things: local boutique Koo De Ker, fashion blogger and mama to the darling Hanes, Cara Loren, and free clothes for our dear readers!

Koo De Ker had Cara and Small Fry over to shop their amazing new Fall line and put together mum approved ensembles. Cara hunted down the perfect pieces that suited her edgy style and would also keep up with any adventures she and Hanes encountered.
Mums Threads Cara 2Koo De Ker is the perfect combination of on-trend and well tailored clothing. Everything is brought in with the woman’s body in mind, their shop is chalk full of special and unique pieces, the kind that people will stop you in the street demanding to know where you got them. Here’s what Cara had to say about her Koo De Ker picks.
Look No. 1: As a mom I am always looking for something that I can chase Hanes in easily but also look fab while doing it. I chose this maxi skirt because I can never pass on a comfortable/chic maxi skirt, and paired it with this oversized cropped sweater for the the perfect fall look. The sweater had the leather detail which is always my favorite, it gives me that edge that I am always looking for. And of course I had to pair it with this cheetah infinity scarf, I mean does it get any better than that?

Look No. 2: This tribal cardigan is the perfect piece to throw on while running out the door. You can put it with about anything and look like you have it all together. Which lets be honest, what mom really does?!

Look No. 3: The second I walked in Koo De Ker I saw this leather sleeved letterman and new I had to have it. I’m pretty sure when Hanes is ten he’ll think I’m pretty cool for wearing it too. Oh and the black fur vest over top? It’s a must!

Look No. 4: Let’s not forget this perfect tan wrap coat! I knew I liked it, but once I put it on I fell in love!! It was the perfect fit and that fall/winter piece that we all need. Not to mention it’s ideal for little Hanes to cuddle with me in. I may finally be the favorite!

Cara is a wonderful mom, so dedicated to her little boy, and still manages to look amazing and put together in any situation. Koo De Ker wants us all to have the perfect pieces that make us feel and look like a million bucks, so KDK is making it happen for you!

KDK has three $50 giftcards up for grabs for their shop in Salt Lake City! If you’re not local, but you have local loved ones that can shop on your behalf, feel free to enter! We’ll be picking the three lucky winners next week!

To enter:

Leave a comment letting us know which of Cara’s four looks suit your personal style best.

For extra entries: like Koo De Ker on Facebook, follow them on Twitter or Instagram @koodeker, tweet, blog or Facebook this giveaway (mention @smallfryblog where applicable so we can see it.) Instagram a picture of your favorite fall ensemble and add the #mumsthreads hashtag. Leave additional comments for each!

Good luck, and thank you to Koo De Ker and Cara!

We have received some awesome reader submissions for MMT, if you have a Mamattire look to add, email us at hello at smallfryblog dot com.

To see the Small Fry mums’ KDK picks head to Small Fry’s Facebook page.

five for fifteen

Do you have a fifteen month old? We have two over here and they are little tornadoes, aren’t they? So curious, so sensory, and always on the go. Sometimes getting five minutes of relative stillness can mean the world to a mom, and here are five ideas that will do just that. Just grab a few household items and prepare to be amazed.

Big thanks to our models Callum and Jude!

Activity: Throw a few small toys in bowl of rice and give your little a shovel.

Benefit(s): This is a great practice activity for hand eye coordination and perfecting their utensil using skills. Hopefully this will aid in a cleaner feeding time as they get more practice.

Activity: Using an ice tray, give them items to put in each ice cube section.

Benefit(s): Watch as their little tongues come out in concentration! Giving them opportunities to focus that aren’t in front of an over-stimulating screen of colors and sounds (ahem, TV) helps develop their brain in a more natural way. Sometimes we think our kids need more stimulation when they’re bored and causing mischief, when it’s actually the opposite.

Activity: Building cup towers just to knock them over.

Benefit(s): Learning to build and create patterns, stacking and unstacking are all great toddler activities. Also, a little controlled destruction can curb their appetite for doing it in the makeup drawers, or the roll of toilet paper, or the cupboards of pots and pans. Or maybe it makes it worse, our theory is still in the experimental phase. Either way, you can’t beat hearing those squeals of delight!

Activity: Transferring bouncy balls from bucket to bucket.

Benefit(s): More hand eye coordination, and more delightful shrieks at the plop! sounds the balls make into the bucket.

Activity: Baby shampoo finger painting.

Benefit(s): This one will sustain most ages, but our little ones love it so much! Get out your paint brushes, Q-tips, or scrub brushes and let them go wild. They will love their new found freedom to make a mess, and using baby soap makes for easy clean-up.

a hip handmade holiday

We are huge fans of Thanksgiving, so you won’t see a lot of Holiday posts until after that point, unless they’re amazing and you need to see them like, now! A Hip Handmade Holiday by the Craft Pack is one of those things. A downloadable e-book with 150+ interactive PDF pages, 18 crafts, 9 instructional videos and 100+ downloadable stickers, tags and printables. The designs have the Small Fry stamp of approval; they are all beyond darling, while still maintaining their cool factor.

The Craft Pack had Small Fry come and give their crafts a try and it was a wonderful weekend full of inspiration. Emily made the Book with Pop! a pop-up book featuring pictures of her boys, check out her video with the Craft Pack below:

We are all excited to make these things for the Holidays, and they have everyone on our lists covered: Gifts for Gents, Gifts for Ladies, Gifts for Four-Legged Friends, Gifts to Treasure, Gifts for the Home and Gifts In a Hurry.

Here are some of the crafts you can do with your kiddos:

Nutcracker Bowling, a darling decor item that doubles as game time!:

nutcracker bowling

Gifts in a Hurry, a perfect way to get your kids in on the gift giving process:

last minute gifts


Holiday Party Favors | Small FryHoliday Party Favors | Small Fry

Lumberjack Breakfast, how cute would it be to throw a breakfast party with your kids and their friends? We’d probably make them wear flannel and fake beards, and then have a cuteness overdose.

lumberjack breakfast

There are so many more crafts to try, A Hip Handmade Holiday is a genius little piece of art. Go, buy, and love!

And congratulations to The Craft Pack for such a huge success! Small Fry loves you.Small Fry and the Craft Pack

Nicole, Alison, Jenna, Susan and Emily.

Buy A Hip Handmade Holiday here!

Video and Photography Credit: Vivint / Wall in video by Walls by Mur / Video Music by Pleasant Pictures